UFS ranked among the world’s best universities

PHOTO: Supplied

The University of the Free State (UFS) has secured its first entry rank as a leading institution on the continent and in the world. This comes after it was ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings 2023, with the UFS emerging in the 802-1000 range of this distinguished ranking, which includes 1799 institutions from across 140 countries.

According to the statement released by the UFS, the rankings assess institutions across the globe based on performance indicators such as teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook. The university is also among the top nine South African universities on the Times Higher Education list, which was released on 12 October 2022.

Commenting on the university’s ranking, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francis Petersen, said: “The outcome of the Times Higher Education World Rankings is in line with the university’s Vision130, of which academic excellence, quality, and impact are the key principles.”

“The university aims to continuously participate in global ranking systems that measure the academic standing of the institution for benchmarking and visibility, as well as to reflect on progress over time,” asserted Prof. Peterson.

He also added that rankings provide insight that helps to set the university’s trajectory for the future.

Even though this was the UFS’ first time joining the rankings, according to the university report on this, the institution received an overall score of 29.8-33.9 and ratings of 18.1 for teaching, 17.6 for research, 49.4 for citations, 40.1 for industry income and finally 47.3 for an international overlook.

“Being part of the top 1000 universities in the world is a positive indication that the UFS is moving in the right direction towards achieving its vision of becoming a centre for academic excellence, quality, and impact; affecting maximum societal impact with sustainable relationships; and emerging as a diverse, inclusive, and equitable university,” said Prof. Peterson.

Added to the monumental rankings of the UFS, is that of ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU) for 2022, which were published in August 2022.

According to the university, this ranking saw the UFS securing a spot in the 901-1000 band globally, and a joint 8-9 position in South Africa, together with Unisa.

This ranking rates institutions based on alumni and staff who have won Nobel prizes and Fields medals, highly cited researchers, papers published in Nature and Science, papers indexed in major citation indices, and the per capita academic performance of an institution.

“In total, more than 2500 universities were ranked, and the best 1000 were published. This was only the second time that the UFS had participated in this ranking,” the statement reads.

Compiled by Mampho Khitsane